The Colorado Rockies have played 45 games of the 2014 season and have not lost a series at Coors Field. On Sunday Justin Morneau made sure their record was intact, blasting a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the home team an 8-6 win and the rubber game of their 3-game series against the San Diego Padres. The Rockies got help from their defense too, turning the third triple play in club history.
For Morneau it was his ninth home run of the season and perhaps his most timely. Taking a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning, Rockies’ closer LaTroy Hawkins blew a save for the first time this year, giving up a 2-run homer to the Padres Everth Cabrera. Nick Masset replaced Hawkins in the 10th and got the win, working a perfect inning. Carlos Gonzales got things going in the bottom of the inning with a single to right field with one out. After Nolan Arenado flied out to right, Morneau blasted a 3-2 pitch to center field to send the Rockies into their day off Monday with a win.
Colorado trailed in the game 1-0 in the third inning when Charlie Blackmon singled in Wilin Rosario and DJ LeMahieu to give the Rockies the lead. Curtis Dickerson followed that with a 2-run homer to left field and a 4-1 lead heading into the fifth. After seeing their lead shrink to only one, Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo home run, his 13th of the year in the bottom of the inning. It was Tulowitzki’s only hit on the day, but his .393 average still leads the team and all of Major League Baseball. His 13 home runs lead the National League, and he is second in RBI with 35.
The triple play happened in the third inning. With runners on first and second, Arenado fielded a ground ball and stepped on third. He then tossed to second base, where LeMahieu relayed it on to first base to attempt to complete the triple play. San Diego hitter Carlos Quentin was originally ruled safe at first, but second-base umpire called Seth Smith for base-runner interference on his slide into second, and the tri-killing was complete.
The 6-4 Rockies’ win had another unique aspect. In the bottom of the first inning, Blackmon drew a walk from Padres’ pitcher Donn Roach. Blackmon was called safe as he was stealing second, but San Diego manager Bud Black asked for a review and Blackmon was ruled out. The next batter, Curtis Dickerson, also walked and also was called safe as he attempted to steal. After another review request from Black, Dickerson was also ruled out. According to the Padres, it is the first time a manager has had two calls overturned successfully in the same inning.
The injury situation looks better than it has in sometime for the Rockies. Pitchers Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood are still on the 60-day disabled list. Chatwood is the only one of those two with speculation on a return date. The Rockies hope to have him back in July. Michael Cuddyer, who has been out with a strain of his left hamstring, is now on Triple-A rehab assignment and could possibly return on Wednesday, just in time for the series with the Giants.
The win left Colorado with a 25-20 record and in second place in the National League West, three games behind the San Francisco Giants as they enjoy a day off on Monday. Tuesday the Rockies will begin a three-game series against the Giants at Coors Field.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies